The European Council and Developments in the European Energy and Climate Policy

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Series Details November 2015
Publication Date November 2015
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The long-term goal of the EU energy and climate policy is to decarbonise European economies, whilst increasing the security of supply and ensuring competitiveness and the availability of affordable environmentally sustainable energy. The international dimension of the European energy and climate policy has become more important, especially following the changes in the geopolitical environment affecting the EU’s neighbourhood and stability in energy-producing countries. On the global stage, the upcoming UN Climate Conference in Paris in December 2015 is the focus of attention this autumn.

The following milestones setting the objectives and the course of policy have been endorsed or adopted by the Heads of State or Government in the European Council:

+ June 2010: adoption of the Europe 2020 Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth. The so-called 20-20-20 targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the share of renewables in final energy consumption, and increasing energy efficiency form part of the strategy and became an essential element of the flagship initiative for a “Resource-efficient Europe”;

+ February 2011: Completing the internal energy market by 2014 and ending the energy isolation of certain Member States by 2015 is made a strategic priority;

+ June 2014: the European Council welcomes the European Energy Security Strategy;

+ October 2014: adoption of the 2030 European Climate and Energy Policy Framework, which includes the objectives applicable from 2020 to 2030 on a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the share of renewable energy in energy consumed and increasing energy efficiency. An electricity interconnection target was also agreed;

+ March 2015: commitment to build the Energy Union based on the Commission framework strategy.

Briefing written by Susanna Tenhunen.

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ESO: Paris Climate Change Conference, November-December 2015

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